Time for another newsletter from Jesus and I.
First up, I know that many of you have been patiently waiting for a new video from us for 10 months. I’m pleased to let you know that we have just made 14 new presentations live on our main YouTube channel.
In all we have almost 60 new videos loaded on the channel and they will all gradually become public as Jesus finishes adding the descriptions and other final settings over the next week.
Jesus has been completing the work for the YouTube channel as I write this today and I just realised that it is the 25th of December. For people who don’t “do” Christmas, it does seem as though we are delivering you with a Christmas present of sorts.
This time of year tends to afford Jesus and I some quiet space to work on projects or ourselves while others are busy with the “holiday season”.
Thank you to everyone who has made a donation to us over the past couple of months. I notice that a number of you have made a shift over to Transferwise. Thank you very much for doing so.
We’d also like to give a special thanks to those of you who make consistent small fortnightly or monthly donations to us throughout the year. I see your names recurring in our account month after month, some of you I have never met and others of you I’ve known for years, but all of you are scattered in various locations throughout Australia and the world. I often wish I could gather you all together for a special thank you party. But the logistics and expense of such an endeavour would be enormous, so I hope that our simple thanks will do for now. Each of your donations contribute to making the day to day operations of what we do possible and sustainable. And I’m sure one day we can make that party happen in the spirit world.
A few people have also made more substantial donations to us this year. These have assisted us greatly in completing some of our necessary computer and software upgrades this year. Thank you.
New Methods for Donations
In the next few weeks you will see some new options on our donations page.
Since Paypal has canceled all of our accounts, we have enabled a service via our Transferwise account which means that if you live in the USA, UK or an EU country you can now make donations via direct transfer from your own bank account into one of our ‘Borderless accounts’ in the same currency without needing a Transferwise account.
Basically this function means that you can make transfers to us in the same way you would if we had a bank account in one of the countries or regions that I listed. I’ll post a short note once Jesus has had time to update the website to make these options available.
Over the past 6 months we have kept to a regular recording schedule in our home studio. On average we’ve been recording 20 hours of new material per month. Due to many changes in our production and post production procedures much of that recorded material is yet to appear on YouTube. However it is all now uploaded and ready to go once Jesus applies the final YouTube descriptions and settings. So in total 58 new videos should all appear on our channel before the end of the year.
This year we’ve worked on some new formats for interviews and discussions, as well as fine tuning some of the camera settings, which we have only recently finalised. I hope that you enjoy the changes. Jesus and Lena especially, along with Eloisa and I, have put a lot of effort into improving production with the aim of making the content of Divine Truth videos easy to follow and hopefully improving the viewing experience overall. (More on the specifics of this work in the next section).
For the latter part of this year we have been working on recording an comprehensive discussion on the topic of Forgiveness & Repentance. The first parts of this series will be available to view over the next few days. We hope to finish recording this series in January or early February 2018 and will then dedicate our recording time to answering questions relating to the first three Assistance Groups in the “Education in Love” series. We hope to have all of those questions answered by the end of June so that they can be viewed by those interested as revision before we commence our next group “Understanding Sin & Its Causes” in November 2018.
As yet we don’t have plans for any other live events until the “Understanding Sin & Its Causes” group which will take us around 3 months of our time to prepare. While we do love the opportunity to interact with people at live events we are attempting to make sure that all of the content we create is well planned, structured and documented. We are placing more and more emphasis on structure and planning as this helps the listener of the final product to more easily understood and use the information. Due to the nature of the personal interactions at live events it is more challenging (though not impossible) to keep things to a set topic or structure. Additionally, live events take a lot more of our time and resources to set up and execute due to the logistical requirements that need to be taken care of.
As we currently have so many other demands on our time including; technical systems and procedure upgrades, God’s Way mentorship, planning and creation of material for the next Assistance Group, focus on our personal progression, and many other matters essential for the continued growth of both Divine Truth and God’s Way it is unlikely that we will hold a live seminar weekend in 2018. However our plans can often change if we sense a strong desire in a certain group or region.
Improved procedures & workflow
As I mentioned in my last update, this year we have been working consistently to create improvements to our workflow and output in all areas of Divine Truth creation and production.
Jesus and I now have in place a good process for creating outlines for our studio recorded discussions. This results in all of our recordings having a definite structure and we cover each topic we discuss in a more comprehensive way. The improved structure and thoroughness we create enables Eloisa and Lena to create video chapter markers, along with doing the usual video switching, during the live recording.
These markers then form useful data for many other computer programs that Kate has written this year under Jesus’ direction. These programs enable automated creation of timecodes, subtitles, transcript headings, YouTube descriptions, and YouTube clips, and will serve in the future population of databases and search engines as well as many other purposes.
Lena gave a great summary of some of the functionality that is enabled by the ability to do live marking on videos in this post: https://legor.net/2017/11/29/update-on-2017-so-far/
Jesus, Lena, Eloisa, Barbara, Kate and I have worked together as a team this year to improve our individual parts in these processes and to create the best possible outputs in all areas. Thank you very much to all of you, it has been a pleasure to work alongside of you.
Due to all of this procedural creation and refinement work now nearing completion and becoming more streamlined you can hope to see new videos and clips appearing more regularly on our YouTube channel in the new year.
After spending an enormous amount of time this year researching, Jesus is still in the process of purchasing, building and setting up the new 360TB 4 way cluster 10Gbit data storage network for Divine Truth and God’s Way to share, as well as building new computer systems to become small stand alone servers, fast graphics workstations, and general workstations. Barbara, the head of our transcription and translation team, Kate, our computer programmer, and Eugene, the person providing IT services for us in the USA, will be the first recipients of this hardware once it has been completed. This long process, which is still underway, has involved researching the best systems to meet the needs, dealing with various suppliers of equipment, manually putting together the individual computers and loading all of the necessary software.
Jesus and I wanted to be sure to purchase a computer set up that we can eventually standardize and use for all of our volunteers. To that end Jesus spent considerable time finding systems with a large capacity and versatility in terms of function, speed, 10Gbit network connectivity, and storage space. Once he found what will be suitable for small stand alone servers, fast graphics workstations, and general workstations, he ordered the requisite component parts and has begun to build the hardware and software. He has been doing this along with keeping our current network, windows, linux and mac workstations, functioning and up to date.
During his work weeks he usually begins work at 4am every day, and normally finishes around 4pm. At all other times he works from 4am to 10am every day 7 days per week, even on the weeks he assigns for his progression, and the rest of the time he spends time working on his emotional and spiritual progression. Besides the technical work, and preparation for our recording, he spends a lot of his work time making plans, designing architectural drawings, researching options for future projects, and working outside on environmental projects.
As always, we are both grateful for Jesus’ extensive previous experience in computer systems engineering and networking, in business and building design. This serves us well while we don’t have other volunteers with the necessary skills.
Meetings & Volunteers
In December we also held another special meeting to assist some of our volunteers with their personal progression. This is something we regularly do.
And we held a thank you dinner for some individuals (and their partners) who gave us a significant amount of help in the sharing of Divine Truth throughout the year.
Volunteer Selection Programme
Under Jesus and my mentorship, Eloisa and Tristan recently completed the first volunteer selection programme. This course was designed to identify new volunteers for both Divine Truth and God’s Way organisations. Three people from the 16 people who did the course have been selected and will soon be joining us as volunteers.
Speaking with most of the participants on their final day, many had appreciated the opportunities to learn about themselves and about God’s attitude to service which the programme provided. Jesus and I want to acknowledge every participant on their desire to be a part of helping to share God’s Truth with the world. While many found that their desire was not yet as pure as they had thought, the structure of the Volunteer Selection programme provided to those participants who did not “graduate” with valuable information and experiences to assist them to start the process of letting go of those addictions and injuries that are holding them back at present if they choose to do so.
The next volunteer selection programme will commence in March 2018. If you wish to register your interest in attending you can do so on the God’s Way Eventbrite page here.
Directorship & Membership
Jesus and I remain founding members of God’s Way and continue to provide substantial mentorship to the current Directors and members. This year I’ve also taken on the role of Director which has been a wonderful experience for me.
In March we’ll hold our Annual General Meeting and members will vote on Directorship and other roles within the organisation.
In the coming months we’ll be finalising our application to become a registered Australian charity and will publish more about what we have been working on as an organisation during 2017 on our website.
As a reminder, those wishing to become members of God’s Way must first be volunteers with the organisation for 6 months. In order to become a volunteer, individuals must first complete the Volunteer Selection programme. So if you are wishing to become involved with God’s Way completing and graduating from that programme is a must.
Natural environment restoration programme
Construction site project
In November and early December, God’s Way completed a project to improve one of the sites previously damaged on the Cushnie Learning Centre. The project was designed and supervised by Jesus.
In the hands of previous owners a second hand shed had been constructed on a hill. Earlier this year the shed was given away and most of it removed. Our desire was to assist in the reparation of the damage to that site.
During their course, the participants in the Volunteer Selection programme assisted in the removal of remaining shed debris.
Jesus showed everyone how the very large tanks could be moved using simple leverage, a few straps, a loader and a truck. An excavator and truck were used to lift up the old slab and we used the concrete to help prevent and reverse erosion at another damaged part of the property.
Three large terraces were created and then covered with a thin layer of hardwood chip. We were fortunate to receive rain in the days following completion of these works and could see just how effective the changes were in catching and retaining water on the regeneration site.
As rainfall is often so low and inconsistent in our area, and land previously used for grazing or building is highly eroded (as was the case here) the retention of water is essential to enable new life to enter the system.
I once had a friend who shared my love for books. She said to me once “It was one of those books Mary, you know the ones that you just want to hug when you get to the end?”
Coming to the end of 2017, I feel like I want to hug the year for all that it has given to me, everything real it exposed in me and around me, and all that it allowed me to experience. It has been full and I am grateful. As always I am acutely aware of the work I have yet to do but here are a couple of my key lessons from 2017.
There are certain things I can define and then there are those that I can only discover
My first and most important lesson this year goes something like this: The truth of my identity and what kind of personality I have already exists. I cannot create or define my nature, my ideal mate, or the passions and purpose that make me come alive. God has already created all of that for me and in me. All I can do is to discover these things.
Over the past few weeks the word “yield” (as in surrender) has come to me often during my quiet or prayerful times. Accepting this first lesson or truth is a significant way that I am yielding to God’s Authority over my life and in creating me. I’m still not always happy to be myself and I often don’t feel at peace with being Mary Magdalene out loud in the world but beginning to yield to God’s Wisdom in the way He Created me feels deeply “right”. There is less fight within me about what I feel and what I want.
Also as a result of opening up to this concept I’ve grown closer to myself (including my other half). After many years of struggle, in which I viewed my very nature and the nature of my soulmate as the cause of ALL of my problems, this year I’ve made steps towards self acceptance and self love and seen that other people’s response to my sincere and loving self expression says more about them than it does about me.
In saying all that, this is an area in which I have plenty of room to grow. But I am happy to say that what I have done has meant that after 39 years of feeling self critical and ill at ease in my own skin, I finally have a sense of moving forward on a trajectory that will lead to permanent fulfillment, happiness and contentment.
Action leads to growth – before action everything remains just a potential
I’ve seen again and again this year that before action ideas are just ideas. There is no way to test their validity or worth. Acting not only leads to a personal process of discovery but also enables me to engage with God more directly and to receive more of God’s Truth into my soul. Without action and experimentation everything is just words and ideas. Acting is when sh** gets real – in a really good way.
The caveat to this truth is that action only leads to growth if I am willing to be humble emotionally in the process. Before this year I believed that I could just act and act and act according to what I believed was in harmony with God’s desires, with no consideration for my current desires or emotions, and eventually the contrast between my fear and my actions would become too much and I would release all my fear and we would all live happily ever after. That kind of rough necking my way through major life experiences, and just trying to “be OK” without any compassion or care for just how terrible I was feeling or how afraid I truly was, was a hallmark of my life long before I met Jesus again. That approach never worked out well. I just became stressed or rigid or numb or needy or had sudden uncontrollable outbursts of emotion that I felt unable to cope with.
This year because I’m growing in my compassion towards emotions, and I’m more open to the idea that certain things are directly under my control and other are completely outside of my control, I’ve been more in touch with how I feel during the experiences I engage. It has helped me to gain a greater awareness of not only my fears, my grief and my emotional addictions but also I’ve found incredible passion and leadership qualities I didn’t (want to) know I had.
I took the opportunity to become a Director of God’s Way. This experience has connecting me with more of my passion to assist people in the practical application of God’s Truth worldwide. As many of you know I have a keen interest in the lives of people in war torn regions and in the developing world. I’ve been very excited to be a part of creating and envisioning the framework for projects that not only work to create useful interventions for these groups but also aim to reduce the impact of consumerism and emotional addictions that dominate most people in the so-called “first world”. We have big ideas and big dreams. The most important step I see in being able to bring these ideas and dreams to fruition is to create an organisational structure with clear strategy, systems and plans in place. We have to start small but understand and hold a vision in our hearts of a much bigger vision. I’ve surprised myself at times with how strongly I feel about the future vision and a lot of my interaction with the other Directors so far has been to encourage them to feel about their own vision and how this marries with our God’s Way Consititution.
I spent a great deal of time in assisting Tristan and Eloisa with their design, documentation and implementation of the Volunteer Selection programme. It was great to “pay forward” many of the key truths about dealing with people and running groups that Jesus has helped me with over many years.
I’ve also been far more engaged with the creation of Divine Truth outlines than ever before. And I love it. Previously I relied on Jesus to create the content and structure of our presentations. Being more engaged with the process this year has shown me so much about my own injuries relating to creation and structure and in certain aspects of God’s Truth but it has also helped me to feel how important God’s Truth is to me and how when I get out of my own way (that is, when I’m not drowning in my own self consciousness) I really love sharing Truth with the world.